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Arcadia Imperial Stout - Arcadia Brewing Company

Arcadia Imperial StoutArcadia Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

393 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 393
Reviews: 264
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.34%

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
OG 1090; 59 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-09-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 264 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lurpy1


2.4/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Acadia makes some underrated beers but this was not one of them. The finish on the taste was an unpleasant burnt chemical sensation. This of course created some related burn going down. I was able to power through the bottle, but I really mean I had to power through it. Not an easy beer to finish. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 00:55:07 | More by lurpy1
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a nice black color with a bubbly tan head. Retention is just ok, but lacing is quite nice.

Nose is dark fruits galore with some cocoa dust and alcohol.

Taste is a nice treat, flows from fruit to chalk to licorice/chocolate malt and finishes with a leafy hop dryness. Its pretty decent, I didnt think I would like it from the smell, but it is not a bad little quaffer. Mouthfeel is thin and it has very little sweetness to buoy the richness factor. Id buy this in a sixer at a good price....not bad...not bat at all.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 02:49:22 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Jimmys


3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip. 2010 vintage. Holy shit, I just noticed that on the label now. bought this bottle about a month ago. no clue it was this old. excited to see how it held up.

A: pours very dark. almost black. head is coffee hued. good retention, reasonable lacing.

S: smells sweet and fruity. almost a little soy-like, reminiscent of autolyzed yeast, but I don't think that's it.

T: a little bit of black licorice. kind of autolyzed? roast, more chocolate though. dark and rich. finish is slightly bitter, but mostly sweet.

M: moderate carb on a full body.

D: the more I drink it, the more I like it. really smooth and rich. what you want a stout of this size to do after 3 or 4 years.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 03:37:25 | More by Jimmys
Photo of CFHMagnet


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 Vintage listed on the bottle

I got a thin, mocha colored head. Body a deep brown bordering on black. Funny how imperial stouts can do that.

Smells bold and roasty. Dark fruit sits in there too. A little vanilla and alcohol on the end.

Roasty malt with dark fruit up front. This beer is subdued and smooth. A little vanilla with a coffee finish.

Smooth from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 04:43:37 | More by CFHMagnet
Photo of DavoleBomb


1.53/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Black color. One finger of frothy light brown head. Retention is a touch below average and leaves no lacing.

1.5 S: This is quite disappointing. Got some major nail polish going on here. Otherwise, roasty and boozy.

1.25 T: Taste is even worse. Boozy, astringent, chemical. That's all I need to say. This sucks.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation with a light creaminess.

1.0 D: Couldn't make it through. Drain poured at least half the glass. Shame on you Arcadia.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 04:28:16 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of superspak


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/24/2011. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Dense foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, molasses, light char, light smoke, toast, licorice, light raisin, and roasted earthiness. Pretty nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted/dark malt notes; with decent strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, light smoke, molasses, toast, raisin, and roasted earthiness. Moderate amount of roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toast, char, light smoke, raisin, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of dark and roasted malt flavors with a light amount of fruitiness; with a solid bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full body; with a creamy, slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice imperial stout. Good balance and complexity of flavors; and smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 04:54:43 | More by superspak
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up about three weeks ago at The Beer Shoppe in Ardmore, PA for about $3.99. 12 oz. bottle poured into my Cigar City snifter.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with two inches of dark tan head that leaves quickly and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, some cream, burnt malts, and some light dark fruits. Nose isn't too complex, but it is nice with a lot of roasted and chocolate malts to it.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, dark fruits, dark and bitter chocolate, light bitter coffe, light cream, and burnt malts. More dark fruits here and a little more bitterness than I was expecting. I think I like it slightly better than the nose.

m - Thick, full bodied stout with low to moderate carbonation. Thick and chewy, not a lot of alcohol heat, pretty nice mouthfeel.

o - Overall a very nice RIS. Nice looking and a very nice mouthfeel to it. The nose is pretty one dimensional, though it is still nice. The taste is better, with some dark fruits to it; it also gets better as it warms up. Liked the BBA version a little better, though this is definitely nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 22:34:05 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really black color, almost 3/4" of brown head on it. Looks professional. Lacing is kind of hodgepodge, a spot here, a spot there, lacks uniformity or coherence. Dark roasted malt aroma, we're two for two in terms of this beer being what it should be with no frills or surprises.

Taste is a little less RIS and a little more double stout, which is a good thing. Less dark fruit, less bitterness, more roastiness, more thickness, more viscosity. Pleasant, not challenging, while being plenty sturdy and demanding respect, you aren't going to pound this one, but its not a super hot sipper either.

Usual notes of coffee and chocolate malt, neither one being massive, throw a little bit of toffee flavors underneath it all. Mouthfeel is chewy without getting too thick and syrup like. Really is like almost every Arcadia brew I've ever had: Better than average, a solid 'good' but doesn't do anything 'great'. More oily than hoppy, more sweet than bitter. Thankfully smoother than most RIS beers. Would drink again.

Thanks to jh1982 for bringing this to a tailgate a year or so ago.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 15:52:02 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of akronzipfan


3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an imperial pint glass, the resulting 2-fingerd head was frothy but short lived. Nose is a bit like cough syrup and the first flavor notes are cocoa and smoke. Mouthfeel is decent. There's a bit of an astringent aftertaste. Overall, this is a good, not great, Russian Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 01:05:22 | More by akronzipfan
Photo of linnymtu


4.39/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very solid imperial stout. It has a normal deep brown/black color with thin tan head. You can smell malt and coffee. The taste was dominated by coffee but some chocolate and malt. This wasn't too malty like some imperials are. The carbonation was about average and felt just right. Overall a quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 14:07:42 | More by linnymtu
Photo of Brewster40


3.09/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage served into a Horney Devil snifter

A - Dark, with a thin light brown layer of foam. Translucent at the edges.

S - Smell is sweet, molasses, dark chocolate, licorice(?)...

T - Not nearly as sweet as the smell. Still, molasses, bitter chocolate, some coffee. Aftertaste lingers and is bitter on the back and sides of the tongue.

M - Medium bodied. Not sure if I have a coating on the tongue or if the aftertaste is overwhelming the feel.

O - Frankly, not my favorite. The bitter aftertaste is distracting, not pleasant. I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, it is just not working for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 20:24:35 | More by Brewster40
Photo of sweemzander


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color. Some tan froth formed.

(S)- A deep aroma of roasted nuts, coffee grounds, and cocoa. Dense and rich but dynamic.

(T)- Similar to the smell in alot of ways. It has a very dense roasted coffee and a rich cocoa/molasses background. Finishes quite citrus-like with bitterness.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. This gets quite bitter as it warms. Still rich and dense. Very surprised with two years of age on this how up front the bitter hops still are.

(O)- This could easily go for several more years to help smooth out some of its rough edges. Nonetheless, it is still a solid example of the style, it just is not quite what I like to see in my stouts. This must have been massively hoppy when fresh.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 19:42:46 | More by sweemzander
Photo of DrDemento456


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid the price to try this one $3.50 for a single. Looks like it was bottled January 2012

A - Immensely dark with no light to escape. Head is minimal with only a slight ring of tan colored lace. Looks sticky.

S - Mild ashy roast, bittersweet chocolates, sugary yeasts, and some molasses.

T - Kind of reminds me of an imperial porter. You got your sweet chocolate, then your roast kicks in, but the finish is a touch chalky and bitter. It's easy enough to drink with no notable ABV but again it taste like a porter.

M - Medium to heavy in body. Not as thick as the typical style but easy enough to put away.

Overall it's quite strange but the imperial porter (which I love) taste more stout like and this imperial stout taste more like a porter. Boy do these guys make for some confusing beers!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 21:25:19 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of bnes09


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pure black and opaque. Small, tan colored head forms with some descent lacing for the style.

Burnt molasses and maple prominent in the aroma. Also some licorice and cocoa. Dark aroma overall.

Sturdy malt backbone with burnt toast, coffee, baker's chocolate, charcoal, licorice and grits. Certainly a lot to take in at one time. Hops are there but somewhat subdued, herbs and pine needles. Flavor is sweet overall with a molasses and maple character.

Full bodied but not syrupy. Weak carbonation fails to impress. Good malt texture throughout.

A solid example of a Russian imperial. This is a 2007 bottle so its nice to see that this beer ages very well. I am interested to try a fresh bottle to see what the bitterness and especially the hop flavors have to offer before the beer ages.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 07:52:35 | More by bnes09
Photo of MrBluto


4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I liked this stout. It pours black, and has a creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. The aroma is malty with smells of cocoa, chocolate, and as one reviewer stated, soy. It starts somewhat sweet and finishes light with a touch of bitterness. However, it lays flat on the tongue afterwards, and it has virtually no head (though what head is there is a very nice medium brown). No lacing.

I would like to try this on tap, particularly at the brewery. I have a feeling it is much nicer when fresh and at the proper temperature (my fridge is a bit tto cold for stouts).

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 23:16:40 | More by MrBluto
Photo of srv33


3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review is for a 2007 bottle reviewed in 2012.

Near black pour, strong herbal scent, with a hint of chocolate and soy. Little to no head. Quite strong and bitter kick on the palate, though it fades quickly. Almost no carbonation, as expected for a bottle of this vintage. Tastes much the same as the smell, rich herbal taste with a bit of licorice and soy.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 22:25:13 | More by srv33
Photo of gustogasmic


3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage from the cooler at a wine bar/ bottle shop.

Black with red-caramel edges and a 1/2" caramel-latte head that disappears quickly. Great sticky lacing.

Smells... hoppy. What in the heck? Big sweet malt backbone with roast in the background.

The taste is wild; not at all following the nose. An intriguing oily hop/ licorice nose that pulls into a big malty, milk-chocolatey body. Unfortunately, the bitterness of the initial drink sticks on the roof of the mouth as an almost acidic awkward and distracting after-taste. I wonder if that element is there in fresh bottles.

The mouthfeel is relatively thin for the style, but the sharp roastiness has a complex linger.

Gotta try a fresh one- or maybe this one was messed up in storage.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 06:01:16 | More by gustogasmic
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage I found at a store in Toledo--no idea how it was stored.

A: Pours black with two fingers of dark tan head that recedes into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with molasses, sweet floral notes, and dark chocolate dominating. There are some slight oxidized notes in the nose.

T: Similar to the aroma, molasses and dark chocolate dominate with some bitter char notes as well. There are slight oxidization notes here as well, but not too much.

M: Thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is pretty smooth and creamy.

O: A pretty decent stout, overall. I've not had it fresh, but this bottle seems to have held up pretty well.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2012 01:03:30 | More by n2185
Photo of ksimons

New York

3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours an oily black with almost no head to speak of, just a tiny ring around the top of the glass

S-roasted malt, coffee, molasses, some bittersweet chocolate, and a touch of smoke.

T-similar to the smell. Roasted malt, light burnt coffee, molasses, and a bit of sourness that makes it seem a bit thin.

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation, wish the carbonation level was a bit higher. Slight dry finish.

Overall not the best RIS I have had. Seems to be lacking in body and roastedness.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 23:39:02 | More by ksimons
Photo of rterry13


3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought to sample as part of a pick 6. Pours a dark motor oily look with little to no head. What there was had a caramelly mocha color. Strong roasted cherry aromas and I picked up a bit of a boozy/whisky like smells as well. A lot going on in this Imperial. I got some bitterness on the sides of the tongue that paired up with the heavy duty roasted coffee like flavors. Feel is thinner than it would appear however, but still a pretty big beer overall. Better than a lot of Imperials I have had, but not the best. I would get this one again as it would go well with some good cheese on a cold night.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 23:44:07 | More by rterry13
Photo of StoutHunter


3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Arcadia's Imperial Stout last week for $3.69 at The Lager Mill. I missed out on this beer for the last two years, so I made sure to get a bottle of this years release and not make the same mistake, so lets see what I have been missing out on. 2010 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is like some of their other seasonal's and is pretty plain, I like the old label much more. It poured a pretty black motor oil color that didn't let any light come through and it had a finger and a half worth of mocha colored head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and it left some nice rings of lacing. This is a proper looking RIS.

S- This RIS has a unique aroma. It starts off with those typical dark roasted malts that impart a nice roasty, chocolate aroma with a pretty fruity aroma mixed in that smells like some sweet cherries. That gives this beer an aroma similar to a chocolate covered cherry but the cherry's smell a little artificial. The aroma isn't true to style but it isn't bad, just much different from what I was expecting.

T- The taste seems to be somewhat similar to the aroma. it starts off with a mixture of roasty malts that impart some nice roasty chocolate flavors that are mixed in with some tart cherry juice, the cherry juice doesn't stick out as much as it did in the aroma but it is still pretty noticeable, the roast is the most prominent. After that I pick up a little more chocolate and a slight amount of coffee with a low amount of bitterness and those same flavors showing up in the aftertaste along with a weird anise flavor. I could hardly pick up any alcohol. The taste wasn't true to style but I still enjoyed it.

M- Smooth, slightly creamy, medium bodied, with a good amount of medium carbonation. The body could be a little thicker since it felt slightly watery, but everything else was spot on.

Overall I thought that this was good beer, it was just an Ok RIS since the fruit aspect made it not true to style, but nonetheless I still enjoyed drinking it and it was a nice change of pace of from the traditional RIS's. This beer had pretty good drinkability, the alcohol barley showed up and the flavors held my interest, I could see drinking another one of these. What I liked most about this beer was the appearance and the drinkability they were both pretty nice. What I liked least about this was lighter body, it would have had a pretty perfect mouthfeel if it was a little thicker. I would buy this beer again when it is released next year, it's a nice change of pace from the typical RIS, and if that is what you are looking for then I recommend trying this beer. I am glad I finally got a chance to give this beer a try, it wasn't an awesome RIS like I hoping so it won't be in my top RIS's but it was still good and pretty unique. Arcadia is a pretty solid brewery and this beer was also pretty solid and now there is only one or two bottled beers from them that I have yet to try, keep making solid beers and I will keep drinking them.
Edit, I just finished my review when I noticed that this was made in 2010 and not 2012, so it has some age on it, reviewing this I thought it was fresh but appearntly that is not that case, I guess I found out that this beer can hold some age, I just don't get how this new arrival at the store is two years old already, I need to track down a fresh bottle and compare, maybe the cherry juice aspect came with age, who knows?

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 05:38:30 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of AngryNucleus


3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage poured into a pint glass. States 9% ABV.

A - Brownish red hue, kind of surprised by the color of this beer. I was expecting darker. Produces a thin layer of light brown head that dissipates rapidly. This definitely appears to be different from normal imperial stouts.

S - Faint and almost sour chocolate smell. Strong malty aromas. Maybe a faint hint of alcohol.

T - Initial taste is pretty aggressive. Carbonated pretty highly given the style. A caramel and almost reddish malt aftertaste. It has a roasty aftertaste that hangs around for a while and fades out with a bitter-sweetness. This beer tastes very light for an imperial stout. Flavors are not as bold as I would like. Alcohol somewhat present in the back end.

M - Carbonated a little to much for the style in my opinion. Thin and coarse mouthfeel. Leaves a lot to be desired.

O - I was expecting a lot more for this beer. Looking at the last inch that remains in the glass it would be difficult to call this a stout (much less imperial) without seeing the bottle it came from. On the whole I feel that this beer is not a good representation of the style. Can't recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 06:44:46 | More by AngryNucleus
Photo of azdback


3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Great Divide pint glass. Black color with dark brown highlights. Head is a small one finger. Dark coco color and creamy in appearance. Lace is minimal and doesn't seem to want to stick around.

Smell is dark roasted malts and cherries. The tart, red fruit smell is very prominent. Not getting much more from the nose but maybe just a hint of alcohol.

Taste is pretty much like the smell. The dark roast and cherries are there but the roastiness is much more prevalent and the cherries take a much needed back seat. After the tart fruit passes there is just a bit of coffee beans and some cocoa. Rounds out nice.

Mouth is velvety and the carbonation is light and creamy. Body is balanced and full with a long wet finish.

Overall this is a pretty good example of a RIS. Not the best but not a bad one. The ABV is low enough to not limit yourself to just one but high enough to achieve great character and depth. Thanks to McNuts for this extra.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 04:48:15 | More by azdback
Photo of CA2670


4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For starters this is an imperial Stout of 9% not the listed 8.4%.
When poured into glass (traditional pint), poured slow and even. Jet black and a nice caramel-tan head about .5 inches.
The nose when opened was mellow roasty with malty back. few slight hints of licorice but very subtle.
Taste of this stout is sinfully delicious. malty roasty and strong. The 9%abv is however very well covered up.
mouth feel is smooth and silky with a nice light carbonation.
Overall this is a very enjoyable beer and a solid example of RIS. Would buy more and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 19:47:26 | More by CA2670
Photo of zeff80


4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage at Sycamore in Columbia, MO.

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, tan head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - Very nice roasty aroma with notes of dark chocolate, toffee and malt.

T - It tasted of dark chocolate and burnt molasses with some toffee flavors. Very tasty.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a really nice beer. Curious to try a fresher one.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 02:15:18 | More by zeff80
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Arcadia Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.